Saturday, 29 May 2010


I'm a customizer. I customized my first pony a year after I started collecting. Her name is Moonlight and she's a BBE unicorn (the purple one.) All things considered, she turned out pretty nice. I spent months researching customizing before I actually started on her.

Although I've been customizing since 2001, up until 2008 I only had about 40 customs under my belt. Partly this is because I've gone months at a time without working on a custom (getting distracted by other art projects, mainly). Partly, this is because I didn't always have the tools or materials onhand with which to customize, and I don't like to take on a project when I can't finish it.

Since 2008, however, I really started focusing on customizing as my main form of artistic expression. I've found supplies that work well for me: Reaper Master Series paints, Dollyhair nylon hair, and Apoxie Clay, to name a few. Having the right tools really makes a difference in the finished product, as I'll come back to next time.

In the spring of 2010 I celebrated the completion of my 100th custom with a raffle on the MLPArena. The winners each received a custom of their own design. If things go on at this rate it won't take nearly as long to reach 200 customs.


Childhood Ponies

I had quite a few ponies when I was a child. My first Pony was Cotton Candy (hello! it's pink! it's a pony! what's not to like?) followed closely by Blossom, then Seashell, Bowtie, Applejack, Glory, Firefly, etc, etc. I had quite a few playsets, too. Being an only child can make for some good Christmases, even in a single parent family.

Because I'm an idiot I gave up my childhood ponies when I was 14. I could've kicked myself about ten minutes later, but it was too late by then. I really wished I'd kept at least a few of my favourites. My only consolation is that I didn't have any really rare ponies in my childhood collection. I'd always really wanted a Mimic, I thought she was so pretty. But I only saw her in stores once, and I chose to get a newborn twins set instead.

My favourite childhood pony was Sunbeam. I got her relatively late in my childhood, when an older friend grew tired of ponies. She was in pretty bad shape. She had no tail, and her NDS was covered in bright pink marks. Apparently she'd been left in a plastic bag in the sun one day. Probably because she was in such bad shape I made a point of playing with her so she wouldn't "feel left out" and she became one of the main ponies in my herd. I wish I still had her. I hope she was found by a customizer and turned into something beautiful and didn't just end up in the trash.

My adulthood collection surpasses my childhood one in quality and quantity. I've been lucky in the last few years to get some grails (including the complete set of Big Brothers with hats, bandanas, and combs thanks to Rosesare's raffle on the Arena and three baby TAFs thanks to my closest friends). But they don't quite replace those childhood ponies with which I built so many memories. I get nostalgic when I look at my pristine Sunbeam for that sad little half-pink bait pony.

Welcome to Northern Elfpony, a blog dedicated to showcasing my artwork. And as the majority of my artwork is lately done in the medium of custom ponies, that will be the subject of most of the posts. However, I'll also be talking about my collection, my other artwork, and various other projects that come up in my life.

Customizing involves taking an MLP and remaking it by repainting, dyeing, rehairing, sculpting, and otherwise altering the original toy into a new piece of art. There are a variety of techniques, materials, and visions involved in customizing -- probably a different one for every customizer out there. I'm always open for commissions, and if you're interested I've got information on that in my Commissions Page.

Because I've been customizing since 2001, I've got quite a backlog of customs to talk about before I get to the more recent work.  I'm not going to post all of my earlier customs here, but you can see them on my DA page, if you're interested.  Instead, I'm going to do a brief overview of my past customizing experiences, a retrospective if you will.  When I catch up with the customs I'm working on currently, I'll probably begin to post each custom individually as they are finished.  But we'll see when we get there.

Currently, I have somewhere between 400 and 500 Ponies in my collection. I collect G1s, G2s, G3s, Ponyville, playsets, Styling ponies, plushies, and customs by other artists. For the most part I've avoided collecting merchandise (not that you could tell by looking at my collection room) although lately I've developed an interest in that, too.

Every year since 2006 I've made the trip to the MLPFair at various locations in the US. The 2010 Fair is a little under a month away just now, so preparation (read: customizing like mad) is in full swing. I'll have several customs for sale there, as well as a few to enter in contests. Hopefully I'll see you there.